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Staycations - One Great Way to Save Money for Vacations
What is a Staycation?
A Staycation is a word that describes staying within your local area for your vacation time, rather then going away somewhere like a "normal" vacation. With the economy the way it is, and has been for a few years now, more and more people are doing staycations and it has become a new word that has "stuck." Its exciting to think about even if you aren't struggling financially. Just staying close by your hometown is smart for a lot of reasons.
If nothing else, you are putting the money you are spending back into your local area. So your taxes that you are paying are benefitting you locally. There are some basic ideas or tips to follow to make your staycation special and memorable.
Some general advice for Staycations
First, make sure you plan ahead, and don't put it off. There is a real temptation to assume that you don't have to really plan for your staycation since you are nearby anyway. The thing is, you won't be maximizing your precious time that you do have. What if the idea you were planning fell on the one day in the week that the place is closed? Yes this has happened to me and to many people. That can be a disappointment, and a day wrecker if you aren't careful.
Make plans just like you would for any other vacation. Definitely plan on getting out and going places together and rediscovering the area you live in. They say it is a good idea to look at your city like a tourist would. Call the Travel Bureau in your area, ask about the top places to go and don't assume you know it all.
Its so odd how we assume things about the very places we live. Why do we put off going to the zoos, the museums, parks and many other attractions just because we live there so often? Often, people don't realize what they missed until they move away!
Give yourself a 100 mile radius as a general rule. You don't have to stay extra close to home necessarily. Plan things that you can leave in the morning, get there and enjoy the time, and then come back home. If you spend money, you are still saving on some meals this way as well as lodging and gas. That is the beauty of a staycation!
Some Ideas for your Staycation
This is a general list of ideas that of course will vary with your own area. Consider looking into all the fun things there are to do, and even if you have done them before, you may have a whole new fun experience doing them again. I would recommend however putting at the top of your list doing things you haven't done before
Think museums, parks, different forms of entertainments, natural choices like hiking and biking, and different centers like science centers, etc. You can go miniature golfing, bowling, fishing perhaps, whatever your area offers. Some people have done a sports staycation. If you are at a loss for ideas, go online and check for fun things to do in your city, or go to the travel bureau and ask friends and family for ideas. You know the ages and preferences of the people in your life, so tailor it to them.
Once, when we did a little staycation, we went to a beautiful local river (within the 100 mile distance) and camped, fished and canoed. It was super wonderful, a memory we all will treasure forever. We truly enjoyed doing something we hadn't done before. We even invited some family, and my brother and his family joined us for the camping part. They had very young children and canoeing wasn't the best idea for them, but they came for the part they could.
Another time, we drove maybe 45 minutes away with some friends to go spelunking, or cave exploring! It was great fun and so interesting. Another time, we spent a good bit of time at the local butterfly conservatory.
The beauty is that you don't have to spend a lot, you don't have to forego family time together, and you are pouring the little bit of money you are spending into your local economy. If and when other family and friends come around to visit you, you are not out of ideas of how to entertain them either.